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Empire Editorial: Celebrate Gold Rush Days - and dry skies

Posted: June 21, 2012 - 12:00am

We’re not the type in Juneau to complain about the wet weather. Nor do we believe our smartphone weather apps when they insist “partly sunny” days are just around the corner.

This weekend we may get to experience the confluence of two events worth celebrating — temperatures in the neighborhood of 80 degrees and the return of the annual Gold Rush Days to Savikko Park .

We hope many will go out and enjoy the day while celebrating some of Juneau’s rich cultural and economic heritage.

The 1940 Census, now available online, shows a picture of prewar Juneau where many people worked in professions that drew from Alaska’s abundant natural resources such as mining and logging. These businesses haven’t gone away, but continue to help drive the economy in Juneau and Southeast.

The competitions and events this weekend celebrate the importance of these two industries to our past and their continued role in our communities today.

Local mines continue to provide good jobs, and forests in the Southeast are felled sustainably.

The past and the present intermingle at the site of the event — the hiking trail meandering past remnants of the Treadwell facility bears witness to nature’s reclamation of old mining machinery and once-useful buildings.

Come to the events, explore the trails and celebrate summer in Juneau — even if the unheard-of happens and the weekend becomes rather rainy. It’s still summer in Alaska, and it’s still a great event.

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